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Master Mariner
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Discussion Starter #1
We're revarnishing our dorade boxes with Epifanes clear varnish. 3 of 4 have dried nicely on the third coat, but one is still slightly tacky after 3 days. All were done at the same time (I believe this box was 3 of the 4 in order of varnishing) and with the same varnish. I've never used Epifanes before and never had such a thing happen with Captain's varnish, which is not available here.
Should we just wait hopefully or just add another coat and pray it works? Obviously, it can't be sanded.
Any thoughts would be welcome.
 

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Do you know what previous finish was on that one before your varnished it? Was that one different in any way compared to the other three? Was it prepped in the same way as the others?
 

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Master Mariner
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Discussion Starter #3
Do you know what previous finish was on that one before your varnished it? Was that one different in any way compared to the other three? Was it prepped in the same way as the others?
All were taken down to bare wood and got a couple of coats of clear wood sealer. All exactly the same, coats the same at the same time.
 

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I once had something similar happen. It was a different brand of varnish, but the first coat wouldn't cure (tacky to the touch). I left it for several days and it still was tacky. Since I couldn't sand it off, I tried a second coat which was a little better but still soft. I added a third coat and it cured fine on the surface (no tackiness), and over time fully hardened.

I never totally figured it out, but I suspect there was some oil in the wood that was suppressing curing. Adding more varnish probably included more curing catalyst, which was eventually able to overwhelm the effect of the oil in the wood.

If these are teak boxes, it's possible that one has more oil in it than the others, so you're having a more severe problem with it. I'd try a couple more coats. You can pretty easily strip it off later with a solvent rag if it refuses to cure.
 
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